Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Habit-A-Week Challenge: Keep A Record

This week's Healthy Habit is one that many people love and embrace, but just as many people hate and reject. The habit is to keep a food journal: an accurate record of every bite that goes into your mouth.

Click here to read the details of this week's challenge, and then come back to read the rest of this post.

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This week I challenge you to measure and journal EVERY SINGLE THING that passes your lips. My favorite (free) calorie counting website is Sparkpeople. It has a vast database of foods so all you have to do is enter the amount and it calculates the calories for you. It also has a Recipe Calculator that is invaluable if you are a home cook like I am.

Maybe you've done this before. Maybe you're already doing it. Whether this is new to you or not, try committing to a full week of measuring and counting and see if you learn something about yourself. If you're on a plateau of having difficulty losing weight, this could help you find the answers. You really have nothing to lose by trying!

If you're an old pro, how about doing a week of 100% accurate food posting on your blog? The transparency is wonderful, makes you pay more attention, and if you ask for feedback and suggestions you might get some great new insights!

I am currently on a break from calorie counting, because Medifast is already pre-counted and measured. But I will use this week to be more accurate in counting the things I *do* measure such as my dinner proteins, vegetables, fats, and condiments. I am sure there is something to be learned from being more attentive to my eating. How about you?

18 comments:

Debbie said...

I accept your challenge and will write down everything I eat. I liked your post today..

RLibby said...

This is a great idea, Lyn! People are often SHOCKED to find out how many calories they take in each day. I assumed because I was eating low-fat foods that I was fine ... until I logged onto MyFitnessPal.com and started keeping tabs. WOW. I was WAY over my suggested totals to lose or maintain weight. It even tells you what you'll weigh in five weeks after to calculate everything at the end of the day. It was a real eye-opener.

Renee
PR Coordinator
Medifast, Inc.

Kate said...

I have an iPod Touch and use "Lose It!" a free application and LOVE IT. I keep track of everything I eat, exercise and my goals. Makes journaling your food very easy.

Barbara said...

I started back up my food journal a few weeks ago and I think it's really helping me. I write down EVERYTHING I eat AND drink, including diet soda and water! I find it helps to track it all so I know how much water I got in, how much soda I drank..How many bites of this or pieces of that I ended up eating.

Like this morning helping my 5 year old with his math homework, we were using jelly beans to count and subtract because they were right there on the table..I ate 2 of them while we were doing math, I wrote it down!

AGirlWorthLosing said...

This is essential for me. When I don't track everything I put in my mouth I do not lose. Great tip!
:-)

Enz said...

This is the one weight loss habit that I do unfailingly-it's very rare I miss a day and it does help. Even if I write it all down and its a 50 point day, it helps me to see trends in my eating patterns.

Project 55 said...

I've been tracking everything and recording points on my blog for a little over a week now. I'm loving the accountability and the discipline it involves.

I tried your low-carb alfredo dish tonight and OMG it was so good! I used the noodles and added broccoli and shrimp along with the laughing cow and yum...dinner for just three weight-watchers points! It's a keeper for sure!

-CJ

Helen said...

You know what gets me? All those little bits and tastes. Makes me mad when I actually track them and realize I added 150 calories worth of "tastes" to my daily count. Sparkpeople has a free iPod application too. No more excuse of not being able to log in at work...

Losing Cleo said...

This is the only way I've lost weight, ever. I always gain back the same 20 pounds when I stop logging calories. I'm a bit sick of it actually so I guess I log whilst I lose.

Shae said...

I have been using The Daily Plate for a few days now. I recommend it to anyone who is searching for a way to keep track of calories. I log everything in right after I eat it, so I won't forget.

Emily said...

I agree very much! Blogging about what I eat has definitely made me more aware of what goes in my mouth. I'm also able to note what filled me up and what didn't!

@Kate - I have this too and LOVE it!

christina said...

I accept the challange!

I already write down EVERYTHING in my journal as is - every single bite, drink, lick, ect. I also document my water intake, if I took my vitamins and my exercise. Yes I am very anal!

But I will up it for this week and document my food journal on my blog every day starting tonight!
http://last-weight-loss-journey.blogspot.com/

Betty said...

So, so true! I think the reason that Weight Watchers (whether going to meetings or doing it on my own) is the only thing that's ever worked for me is because of the daily food log. In fact, I read some study (can't remember where) that said no matter what diet or approach you try, the number 1 factor for successful weight loss is to write EVERYTHING down. It definitely works for me.

spunkysuzi said...

I have to admit that i do weigh and journal everything i eat!

Ice Queen said...

I am keeping a handwritten food journal. I have to. It is how I keep on track. I log the food, serving size, if I need to and calorie count. On the side I keep a running total. That way, I know at a glance exactly how many calories I have taken in and can decide how to spend my remaining calorie budget. :D

Amber said...

I am counting using LoseIt! for the iPhone. I figure I have the phone with me everywhere so why not right? It's amazing to see what I would normally eat on a regular day before counting the calories and now how conscious I am of what goes in my mouth. I really think about "Do I really want ot have to admit I ate that?" Even if nobody sees it I am worried about it.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, great to read your blog and I am so impressed with you and your attitude. I have recently started blogging about my weight loss and as I was thinking about what to write I realised that one of the hardest things was getting used to weights of food! 50g of rice is not very much it turns out!
I will keep reading and invite you to have a look at mine:
http://katsinternetweightloss.blogspot.com

Trying to Find the Skinny Me said...

I love your blog! And it's a great challenge! I'm ready to accept. :)